James H. Cagle
The Bible (KJV) says, “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me “ (Mk. 7:6).
Christianity is not a game that is played on the game board of religion, with all its formalism, ritualism, and activities. Christianity is a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, through the work of Holy Spirit that through the ministry of the church’ preaching and teaching of God’s Word, will grow and mature the Christian until they have grown into, “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 12).
When people play games they play a role, they pretend to be something they’re not. When people play the religious game they pretend to be the Christian they’re not. They pretend to be Christians during game time which is during any church meeting or activity. And of course this is called playing church. With all these people acting like Christian is it no wonder that there is so much show business in the church? With these people acting the part and overplaying their role, is it no wonder there is an emphasis on doing instead of being, on noise and activity instead of reverential worship of God?
While people play church and the religious game and pretend to be Christians they’re not being sincere with God. In spite of them going through the motions and imitating the real, God has no part with what they’re doing. All activity and assumed successes are accomplished in the power of the flesh. The Bible is not authoritative to these game players. The Holy Spirit is merely the ambassador of emotions sent to charge the meeting with excitement but no conviction. He’s sent to stir the player’s feelings and make those that live in disobedience to God’s Word feel like more than conquerors. It is not the Holy Spirit accommodating this crowd but an evil spirit.
The preacher is a performer, an entertainer that deals in sensationalism, and tactics in stimulation, intimidation, and manipulation, to make people feel good about God, rather than convincing and persuading people to follow God. He comes to the pulpit with a stimulus package, not a message from God. He meets their felt needs but not their real needs. Those that play this game mistakenly think the team roster or church roll is synonymous with the Lambs Book of Life.
Since we play games to have fun, this religious game is fun as well. Happiness is the motto for this crowd, not holiness. Jesus died on the cross to make us happy not holy is the message they want to hear. These have plenty of ritualism and formality but haven’t an ounce of spiritual reality. And God hates ritualism without reality (Is. 1: 10-15). They dress up in their play clothes for their Sunday game and catch the eye of man and get recognition and attention but do not catch the eye of God (Is. 66: 2).
This religious game is a cloak to cover their iniquity. They practice religion while living in sin, and their worship is iniquity (Is. 1: 13; 2 Tim. 3: 5).
Like all games the religious game ends. It ends at the Rapture of the church when the true-believers are taken to Heaven and the make-believers are left behind to face the horrors of the Tribulation and then the eternal horrors of Hell (2 Thess. 2: 10-12).
Many play this religious game and think getting saved and living a holy life for Jesus and then the Judgment and then either Heaven or Hell is all a joke. It isn’t a joke, but this religious game created by Satan to keep people from being serious about God and about their salvation until it’s too late is working. Satan is the only one that’s playing this game with the religious but lost crowd. He’s a loser and is making losers of all who play this game with him.
In which religion is involved.
It is the most dangerous game of all,
For the loss of one’s soul is involved.
It is a game of pretension,
And is popular as can be.
We are the actor and play a role,
And a Christian we pretend to be.
The game is called “Playing Church,”
And Sunday is game day.
We suit up in our very best,
And act like we’re in the narrow way.
Our message is a happy one,
For holiness we think is boring.
The Holy Spirit we think is working,
But it’s an evil one that’s imploring.
We’re energized and excited,
By the preachers stimulus package.
We’re made to feel like winners,
While our life’s a sinful wreckage.
We play this game inside the church,
Where we’re still religious but lost.
We think the Gospel is a joke,
For which Christ Jesus paid the cost.
We think the Holy Spirit is the One,
Stirring up our rebellious heart,
But an evil spirit impersonates Him,
Working his deceitful satanic art.
We can only become a Christian,
By faith in Christ and confessing our sin.
Playing the game will never save us,
And will never bring peace within.
Playing Church is a satanic game,
And Satan’s the one that create it.
He makes religion fun and frivolous,
And everyone’s a loser who plays it.
James H. Cagle
In stature he’s not very tall;
But in his spirit, where it counts,
He makes other men look small.
For many years he’s kept God’s way,
The way of righteousness he trod;
Ever faithful to the Savior,
Though doing right made him look odd.
Tradition, Daddy just never had,
Religious or otherwise;
His conscience lorded over him,
Leading him to the highest prize.
Trials and hardships were oft’ his lot,
They seemed more than he could bear;
“But living for Christ is like that,” he said,
“And through them, His glory we share”.
So patiently he carried his cross,
He silently bore it all alone;
Yet, secretly, it looked to me
As though Someone helped him along.
He was a hard working man;
Yet he knew how to laugh and love,
And the standards he strictly adhered to,
Came straight from Heaven above.
“Looks are not as important,” he said,
“As character refined like gold.”
And thus, he stood down Vanity’s Fair,
This guardian of our body and soul.
Daddy’s faith stood him strong
When the dollar showed up weak,
On the promise that God would provide,
And the righteous he’d always keep.
From strength to strength and grace to grace,
Daddy faithfully traveled the way
That he thought God had ordained for him,
And would win him a crown someday.
I wondered at my daddy’s strength;
How, regardless of the foe,
He came out more than conqueror
Over that which would work him woe.
Just like Delilah so long ago,
I sought for the secret of Daddy’s might;
How against such power and odds,
He would hold to what was right.
I found him in the pre-dawn hours
Where he got alone to pray;
Asking the Lord for grace and light
That would lead him in His way.
There he fed upon God’s Word,
Nourishing his soul with Truth;
That, as his outward man grew old,
His spirit would retain its youth.
And there as he met with Jesus,
I found what I sought for at length:
That a simple childlike trust in God
Was the source of daddy’s strength.
So Happy Father’s Day, dear Dad,
I pray for you God’s very best.
I’m so glad you followed Jesus.
As a result I too am greatly blessed.
James H. Cagle